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Thursday News, June 21

"Cash Mob" To Occur Today at Noon

(Le Mars) -- Today at noon, we will learn which downtown retail business has been selected for the first Le Mars Chamber of Commerce "cash mob".  Those businesses that are eligible include: Binneboese Shoes...Claussens...Fashionette...Hardware Hank...Hotopp Jewelry and Gifts...Joba's...Rust Western Shed...Sunshine Foods...and Glen's Copier.  The premise of the "Cash Mob" is to encourage people to first gather at the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce where Mayor Dick Kirchoff will draw one business name.  Then the gathering of people will go to that business and with each person purchasing at least $20 worth of items to show support for the Chamber, that business, and to help the local economy.  Le Mars Mainstreet Coordinator Mary Reynolds  says the idea came from the Main Street Iowa organization.

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Reynolds is hoping for at least fifty people to participate in the "cash mob".  Additional "cash mobs" will take place later in the summer with the selection of a business outside the downtown district, as well as restaurants.

Outdoor Movie Scheduled for Tonight

(Le Mars) -- Ice cream days may be over, but there is one event scheduled for this evening that was postponed from last week.  The outdoor movie which will be featured at the Olson Events Center this evening.  Although, rules preclude us from telling you the name of the movie, officials give their assurance that it is a family-themed movie that everyone will enjoy.  Bring your lawnchairs to the Olson Cultural Events Center at dusk.  The event is sponsored by American Bank.  Wells Blue Bunny will distribute free novelties.


Woodbury and Monona Counties Recieve Up to 4 Inches of Rain(Undated) -- Although Le Mars may have missed out on the plentiful showers from yesterday. Southern Woodbury County and northern Monona county are reporting having received several inches of rain. Danbury is said to have received at least three inches of rain, and Onawa got up to four inches of rain. The Monona County Sheriff's Department says they did not receive any reports of structural damage. James Oberreuter, a farmer from Danbury, Iowa, reports having received 3.8 inches of rainfall in about an hour's time.

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Disgruntled Employee Files Law Suit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa state employee who criticized his boss at a public demonstration says in a lawsuit that he's been punished for exercising his First Amendment Rights.
    Daniel Noonan filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday. He says he lost three days' pay for comments at an April 17 rally in Ames. Noonan works for Iowa Workforce Development.
     A newspaper account of the rally included Noonan's criticism of Workforce Development Director Teresa Wahlert for not taking a pay cut "'like her predecessors did during tough times.' "
     Noonan says he made the comments during an approved vacation and union day off.
     A department spokeswoman wouldn't comment on the lawsuit but said Noonan was on paid union leave and not a vacation day when he made the remarks.


Army Corps of Engineers To Repair Missouri River Channel

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded $8.3 million in contracts to restore the navigation channel along a nearly 120-mile stretch of the Missouri River in Iowa and Nebraska affected by last summer's historic flooding.
     The corps says the project is to repair a 300-foot-wide by 9-foot-deep channel between Sioux City, Iowa, and Rulo (ROO'-loh), Nebraska.
     Dikes and other rock foundations are used to create the channel and prevent erosion along the bank. Many were damaged by the high floodwaters.
     The repairs will take about 250,000 tons of rock and will involve cranes operating from barges. The project is in two sections - from Sioux City to Fort Calhoun, Nebraska and from Fort
Calhoun to Rulo.
     Work is to begin within the week and be completed by September 2014.


Powerball Winners Want To Remain Anonymous

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Workers at a Quaker Oats plant sharing a record lottery jackpot in Iowa are demanding anonymity following a day of public celebration.
     The 20 workers say they'll go to court to get an injunction ensuring their last names aren't released. It's believed to be the first time an Iowa lottery winner has chosen to take legal action
to keep a name confidential.
     The announcement follows a day of celebration for the group that calls itself the Shipping 20.
     They boarded a chartered bus Wednesday to Iowa headquarters in Des Moines. They sported bright red T-shirts. Then they were showered by confetti as they smiled for television cameras at a
news conference.
     The $241 million Powerball jackpot amounts to a lump-sum payment of about $5.6 million per winner after taxes.


Pick Up Basketball Game Ends in Stabbing

(Fostoria) -- A pick up basketball game at Fostoria, a small town near Spencer, resulted in a stabbing and assault. The Clay County sheriff's office was notified of the stabbing at about midnight Sunday evening.  Apparently, a physical altercation broke out between Carl Gordon, age 18 of Fostoria and Justin Champine, age 42 of Fostoria, and Justin Burtis, age 26 of Estherville.  Champine and  Burtis, were playing a game of basketball along with two juvenile males.  It is reported that Gordon and Jacob Mersch, age 26, were watching.  Mersch left the scene to report the assault.  Upon further investigation, it was found that Mersch left his residence with a filet knife and went to the basketball court and saw Champine and Burtis go to Champine's residence.  A short time later, Gordon went to his residence, got a steak knife, and then went to Champine's residence. Champine saw Gordon outside of his window with a knife and went outside, tackled Gordon, and was cut by the knife.  Burtis assisted Champine in taking the knife away from Gordon and Gordon fled on foot.  Gordon was later found and arrested.  He has been charged with Disorderly conduct and public intoxication, both simple misdemeanors, and going armed with intent, which is a class D felony.  Mersch was charged with public intoxication and going armed with intent, a class D felony.  Burtis was charged with disorderly conduct.  On Monday, the Clay County Sheriff's deputies placed Champine under arrest and charged him with disorderly conduct.   


Accident Being Investigated  

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County sheriff's department is investigating an accident that occured on Monday afternoon on Highway 75 and 60 between a semi truck and trailer and a car.  The accident happened shortly after 5 p.m.  The semi-truck, driven by 34 year old Brian Brownmiller of Le Mars was heading north on Highway 75.  The car, driven by 60 year old Kevin Kimble of Le Mars was on the off ramp of Highway 60.  Kimble stopped and then proceeded to turn left going southbound driving on the on ramp of Highway 75 into the path of the semi truck.  The semi truck hit the car just behind the driver's side.  Kimble admitted he was tired and did not notice the truck until he started his turn.  Kimble suffered minor injuries and was transported to the Floyd Valley Hospital. The Le Mars Fire Department and the Le Mars Ambulance assisted at the scene of the accident.







Wednesday News, June 20th

City Council Approves Sewer System for Housing Area

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council gave its approval for a sewer system to be installed that would hook up residents living in the Willow Run housing development area.  The city estimated there would be 25 possible hook ups to the new sewer line, and at $2,000 per hook up, the Willow Run housing residents agreed to finance $50,000 of the project cost.  The city can finance the project up to $100,000.  Anything above that figure would need for bid letting. City Administrator Scott Langel says the residents of the area favors the project.  

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Residents already having a private septic system would not be required to have their homes to be hooked up to the new sewer line, but any new homes or condominiums would have to be hooked up to the city's sewer system.


City Gives Floyd Valley Hospital Approval to Seek USDA Loan

(Le Mars) -- The city council also gave its approval to the Floyd Valley Hospital to seek an application from the U-S-D-A's Rural Development for a low interest loan for a possible expansion project at the hospital.  City councilmen Ken Nelson and John Rexwinkel had questions about the expansion project and the city's financial liability. 

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Hospital administrator Mike Donlin offered assurances to the city officials that the debt would be the responsibility of the hospital's, not the city's.

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Le Mars Continues to Recycle

(Le Mars) -- The city of Le Mars recycled more during the month of May than at any other time.  Assistant City Administrator, Bill Cole reported to the city council that the city residents recycled 189,000 pounds of plastics, bottles, and glass products.  Cole also informed the council that last month the city earned $27,391 in the motel-hotel tax which brings the year's total to $127,649 or at least $10,000 more than what was collected during the best year of 2009.

Catholic Bishop Nickless Discusses Issues With Media

(Sioux City) -- Bishop Walker Nickless of the Sioux City Diocese held a luncheon for the local media on Tuesday to explain the Catholic Church's position on several issues now making news.  Bishop Nickless discussed several topics from health care to birth control and even same sex marriages and homosexuality.  He also stressed the importance of a Catholic driven education.

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The Sioux City Catholic Diocese has nearly 90,000 members.  The Catholic official says it is always a struggle for Catholic schools to find the needed funds to provide the quality education that is needed, but he says the Catholic schools within the Sioux City Diocese are doing well. Bishop Nicklass says the enrollment is holding steady.  He admits that for some families sending their children to a Catholic school can be at times a financial burden.  The Catholic Bishop says that each school does offer financial assistance, and that he does not want money to be an issue if a family wants to offer a Catholic education to their children.

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Nicklass says many programs, such as the tuition assistance offered by Monsignor Lafferty program helps families with the financial help they need in order to send their children to a Catholic school.

Supervisors Discuss Mental Health Funding

(Le Mars) -- The funding of mental health services was again discussed at Tuesday's Plymouth County Board of Supervisors meeting.  Since the legislature reformed how mental health services are to be financed, many counties are finding themselves with an added financial burden and in some cases, some services will be downsized, or even eliminated.  Sharon Nieman, Plymouth County CPC director, along with Patrick Schmitz of Plains Area Mental Health spoke before the county board of supervisors.  The budget for the Plymouth County mental health services is marked at $1,069,320 and Nieman fears they may run out of money before the year is finished.  In other action, the supervisors approved the contract with Plains Area Mental Health Services as a provider of mental health services to Plymouth County clients.

LIghtning Strike at Courthouse Affects Computers, Telephones

(Le Mars) --  A lightning strike to the Plymouth County Courthouse Building will cost the county more than $8,000.  On the evening of June 2nd, a bolt of lightning struck the communications tower on top of the Courthouse building.  Plymouth County Information Technology director, Shawn Olson reported to the supervisors that the lightning strike traveled down the tower and penetrated the internal computer network wiring causing several computer terminals and portions of the telephone system to be inoperative.  Olson says the county is visiting with its insurance agents.  One problem that has arisen is the company that provided the courthouse its phone system is no longer in business, and replacements may be difficult to locate.  

Jury Finds Gregg Not Guilty

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Woodbury County jury has acquitted a man charged in a fatal fight outside a Sioux City bar during a retrial.
     The jury on Tuesday found Brad Gregg not guilty of involuntary manslaughter and assault causing serious injury in the death of Joe McDonald, of Ida Grove, in October 2010.
     Authorities say Gregg punched McDonald during a dispute. McDonald never regained consciousness.
     Gregg's first trial ended with a hung jury last September.
     The jury deliberated the case for about four hours before returning the verdict Tuesday afternoon.
     The defense claimed Gregg acted in self-defense. Prosecutors argued Gregg assaulted McDonald.

No Charges Filed For Teen's Suicide From Bullying

  PRIMGHAR, Iowa (AP) - Prosecutors say no criminal charges will be filed in the case of a bullied Iowa teenager who committed suicide.
     Fourteen-year-old Kenneth Weishuhn Jr. of Primghar died April 15.
     O'Brien County Attorney Micha Schreurs  says there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute anyone for any "specific criminal acts" against Weishuhn.
     Family members say the South O'Brien High School freshman was bullied at school and online after telling people he was gay.
     Weishuhn's death led to a statewide outcry for more effective anti-bullying tactics in schools.

Two Wisconsin Men Die In Accident on Highway 20  

HOLSTEIN, Iowa (AP) - Officials say two Wisconsin residents died in a fiery crash in northwest Iowa.
     The crash happened Monday afternoon just east of Holstein in Ida County. The Iowa State Patrol identified the two as 55-year-old Michael Hengel, of Milwaukee, and 38-year-old Cory Severson, of
Pine River, Wis.
     The two were in a car that had stopped at a construction site on U.S. Highway 20 to wait for a pilot vehicle. Authorities say the car was hit from behind by a semitrailer and pushed into the back
of semitrailer that had stopped in front of the car.
     Authorities say the two victims were trapped inside as the car burst into flames.
     The two truck drivers were not seriously injured.


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